You might have heard of "chicken is vegetarian" claims in a Punjabi household, but the notion has now entered the political discourse.
The chicken's non-vegetarian identity is in peril as Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut demanded chicken and eggs to be classified as vegetarian.
The demand came after a discussion in the Upper House on Monday.
Here's what happened.
Raut made demands while discussing Ayurveda benefits
According to Mumbai Mirror, while discussing the benefits of Ayurveda, the Shiv Sena MP urged the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy (AYUSH) to decide on whether chicken is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. He also shared a little anecdote.
'Ayurvedic chicken' to cure all illnesses
Addressing the AYUSH Ministry, Raut recalled, "Once I had gone to a small hamlet in Nandurbar region. The Adivasi people came and served us food. When I ask them what was it, they said it was an ayurvedic chicken."
He added, "They also said that they take care of it in such a way that after (eating) you will get rid of all illness."
Choudhary Charan Singh University researchers on ayurvedic eggs: Raut
The parliamentarian further spoke about researchers from the Choudhary Charan Singh University, who are apparently researching on ayurvedic eggs. Raut said that researchers claim the chickens, who lay ayurvedic eggs, are only fed ayurvedic food, and hence, can be consumed by vegetarians for proteins.
Raut demanded Rs. 10,000 crore budget for AYUSH
Further, the Mirror report added that members of the Rajya Sabha asked for higher funding for AYUSH, to promote traditional medicine, asserting its benefits to millions of people in the country. Raut demanded a Rs. 10,000 crore budget for AYUSH.
Raut also stated that while traditional Indian drinks with medicinal properties, such as turmeric milk, are gaining popularity in the West, Indians ignore them.
Raut's unscientific claims no lone incident
This is not the first time that a politician has made bizarre and unfounded statements.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has, in the past, made unscientific claims about Lord Ganesha getting plastic surgery, the existence of genetic science in the Mahabharata era, or ancient Indian rishis having 'divya drishti' which led to the invention of television.